Earlier this week, it appeared Major League Baseball and its players union were nearing an agreement to return to the field for its 2020 season amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
But as of Friday, the two sides appear to be at least 10 games and $250 million apart, with no talks scheduled to resume negotiations.
The most recent round of negotiations between the two sides came earlier this week when the MLB owners offered a 60-game schedule with fully prorated salaries for the players. While the MLB reportedly viewed the talks that led to this proposal as an agreement to the framework for a deal, the players disagreed, countering with a 70-game schedule and fully prorated salaries.
With 10 more games costing the owners between $250 million and $300 million, MLB rejected the deal, viewing it as a step backward from their prior negotiations. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, no further negotiations are scheduled for Friday.
While it would seem like there's common ground to be found between the 60 and 70-game proposals, time is of the essence. The MLB's proposal for a 60-game schedule called for a July 19 start date, a time frame that seems less realistic with each day that passes without a deal.
What's more is that the league has remained steadfast in wanting to finish its regular season by the end of September in order to avoid a potential second coronavirus wave when the weather cools down. And there are also safety concerns for the present to be considered, with the Philadelphia Phillies revealing that five players and three staff members recently tested positive for the coronavirus after working out at the team facility in Clearwater, Florida.